Our Environmental Policy
Furniture by Dovetail is committed to environmental, health and safety excellence throughout the entire life cycle of the design, manufacture and use of our furniture. We understand that environmental excellence is not only responsible management, but makes good business sense. Therefore, compliance to all local, state and federal environmental, health and safety standards is our bare minimum managerial standard. We strive to improve operational efficiency and reduce toxics and waste. To formalize this commitment to environmental stewardship, Dovetail is currently developing an environmental management system modeled on the ISO 14000 standards, and may seek certification in the future.
Furniture by Dovetail utilizes a five-pronged approach towards its environmental, health and safety management systems:
Efficient, “Green” Product Design
Furniture is designed for efficient, sustainable manufacturing and minimal waste. For example, wood from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, sustainable forests are utilized whenever feasible. Moreover, a butcher’s wax topcoat is recommended over solvent based finishes in applications when appropriate.
Raw Material Review
Raw materials with minimal toxics content and FSC-certified lumber are used whenever feasible and appropriate. In cases where certified lumber is utilized, Dovetail implements the following procedures:
- Audits the Chain of Custody of the certified lumber to ensure that the material was grown in accordance with FSC requirements and processed by a FSC certified sawmill.
- Maintains a separate storage area that keeps FSC-certified lumber separate from non-certified lumber.
- Performs internal audits and imposes a strict work-in-process tracking system to ensure that the end-product utilizes the specified FSC-certified content.
- When appropriate, Dovetail will utilize a third-party auditor such as Smartwood to ensure that the FSC guidelines, policies and procedures are being followed appropriately.
Health and Safety Education
Employees at Dovetail are educated and well-versed on the policies, procedures and techniques that keep them safe in the workplace. The appropriate protective devices are used as necessary (e.g., dust masks, cartridge filters in the finishing area). This attention to Health and Safety education has paid off with 1over 1200 days since an accident has occurred within our workplace.
Pollution Control Devices
When pollution-emitting materials need to be used, pollution-control devices are employed to minimize emissions. For example, spray finishing occurs within a pressure-negative enclosed area to reduce employee exposure and to improve the capture efficiency and thus the control efficiency of the spray booth air-filtration system.
Recycling and Reuse
If materials and wastes cannot be reduced at the source, waste materials are recycled and reused. For example, the final product is wrapped in reusable, padded blankets, so that packaging waste is minimized. Waste saw dust is pelletized for use as home-heating pellets. Wood scraps are donated to individuals and crafts programs for crafts projects. The remainder of the wood waste is burned in a wood-fired kiln at a local crafts center (the Worcester Crafts Center).
Energy Conservation Program
Energy audits are performed periodically, where opportunities for energy savings are identified and evaluated. Recently, Dovetail implemented one option that utilizes smaller individual blower motors that are turned on only when a piece of equipment is being used. This saves power over the single blower system that it replaces.
Dovetail strives to implement a policy that minimizes waste and inefficiency while maximizing sustainability. FSC-certified lumber is used whenever feasible. Products are designed with the goals of sustainability, toxics use and waste reduction in mind. The furniture manufacturing process itself has been optimized for efficiency and minimal waste. When waste cannot eliminated at the source, wastes are reused and recycled. Ultimately, Dovetail has found its environmental initiatives a value-added part of its operations and its product.